Select biomarkers on the day of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction predict poor patient-reported outcomes at 2-year follow-up: A pilot study

Christian Lattermann, Caitlin E.W. Conley, Darren L. Johnson, Emily K. Reinke, Laura J. Huston, Janet L. Huebner, Ching Heng Chou, Virginia B. Kraus, Kurt P. Spindler, Cale A. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background. The majority of patients develop posttraumatic osteoarthritis within 15 years of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Inflammatory and chondrodegenerative biomarkers have been associated with both pain and the progression of osteoarthritis; however, it remains unclear if preoperative biomarkers differ for patients with inferior postoperative outcomes. Hypothesis/Purpose. The purpose of this pilot study was to compare biomarkers collected on the day of ACL reconstruction between patients with "good" or "poor" 2-year postoperative outcomes. We hypothesized that inflammatory cytokines and chondrodegenerative biomarker concentrations would be significantly greater in patients with poorer outcomes. Study Design. Prospective cohort design. Methods. 22 patients (9 females, 13 males; age = 19.5±4.1 years; BMI = 24.1±3.6 kg/m2) previously enrolled in a randomized trial evaluating early anti-inflammatory treatment after ACL injury. Biomarkers of chondrodegeneration and inflammation were assessed from synovial fluid (sf) samples collected on the day of ACL reconstruction. Participants completed Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) questionnaires two years following surgery. Patients were then categorized based on whether their KOOS Quality of Life (QOL) score surpassed the Patient Acceptable Symptom State (PASS) threshold of 62.5 points or the IKDC PASS threshold of 75.9 points. Results. Patients that failed to reach the QOL PASS threshold after surgery (n = 6, 27%) had significantly greater sf interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1α; p = 0.004), IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra; p = 0.03), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9; p = 0.01) concentrations on the day of surgery. Patients that failed to reach the IKDC PASS threshold (n = 9, 41%) had significantly greater sf IL-1α (p = 0.02). Conclusion. These pilot data suggest that initial biochemical changes after injury may be an indicator of poor outcomes that are not mitigated by surgical stabilization alone. Biological adjuvant treatment in addition to ACL reconstruction may be beneficial; however, these data should be used for hypothesis generation and more definitive randomized clinical trials are necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9387809
JournalBioMed Research International
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Christian Lattermann et al.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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